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Sterilization and Water Safety Ahead of the News
To my patients,
It seems every time I get a chance to write I have
to deal with an issue in the media about the safety of going to
your dentist. I’ve got lots more I’d like to share with
you but let’s take that first.
The latest scare sensationalism to receive national
attention, with more promised, involves the potential contamination
of dental unit water lines. Although it is questionable whether
this contamination is a threat to individuals with normal immune
systems, nevertheless the basic facts are correct and should be
I learned about the biofilm in dental unit water lines
in my role as a consultant to dental unit manufacturers, before
it showed up in the professional or public literature. For the past
year I’ve been involved with developing various means to deal
with the contamination, all of which have been put into use in our
office. You may have noticed the two water bottles hanging on each
of our units. These contain an isolated water supply and an antibacterial
rinse. Each day the water lines are flushed first with the antibacterial
and then dried with the nitrogen we use to power our office. Weekly
the lines are flushed with an even stronger sterilizing solution.
Since nothing can live in this environment it very effectively removes
the biofilm and contamination. Other devices which I am testing
in also show up in our office and I will be happy to point them
out if you are interested.
Just as in the previous TV scare on dental handpieces
we have dealt with the problem long before it became news. This
is simply another facet of living up to our ideal of applying technology
to create better dentistry for our patients. For those of you who
have not been in recently some of the new technologies we’ve
added are micro-abrasive dentistry which uses sand and air instead
of a drill, a laser for use in conservative periodontal treatment,
and digital “film-less” x-rays which uses 90% less radiation.
We’ve even got messages-on-hold that explain the technologies
when you call, and copies of the ABC-TV show on our office are still
available for you in the reception room. Reprints of the new article
I wrote for a dental journal on micro-abrasive dentistry and a new
“standard of care” (written in plain english) are also
available on request.
We’re also moving forward in the plan to make
appointments more easily available for you and the friends and relatives
you are kind enough to refer….they’re greatly appreciated.
This year we added another treatment room and Lynn Hill has added
additional days which increased our available hygiene time by 50%.
Maria Di Miceli has joined our assisting staff to help make our
office more efficient, and I have extended my office hours.
For a number of months I have been going through an
exhaustive search to find the right dentist to associate with our
practice. When we find someone that we are sure incorporates our
ideals, and which whom our patients will be happy, it will provide
additional appointment choices and flexibility for you, especially
in the hard to get evening and Saturday schedules.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read
this letter and, more importantly, for your continued confidence
Dr. Kenneth S. Magid
Technology Articles By Dr. Magid • Published
articles About Dr. Magid • Articles
on periodontal disease and health risks